Posted on February 12, 2014


How important is grass?
I’m not taking about the grass that can be lit and enjoyed legally in most states.

I’m talking about the green stuff. The stuff you must water. The stuff that stains jeans and smells of summer. The stuff that is full of bugs and requires a lawn mower.


Here in Manhattan we don’t have much grass. In my daily commute, door to door I don’t see grass. None at all.
In fact, in my daily commute – from my apartment to work via subway, a few blocks walk between, and a stop to get coffee – I don’t even see a damn tree. Not one. Seriously. A few planters – flowers, bushes, but no tree.
The closest thing I have to a tree is a lamp post with dog piss puddles surrounding the base.

Sure – Manhattan has ample parks, beautiful green spaces, and outdoor activities. But depending on where you live, these observations aren’t daily observances. They are a bit farther, may require a subway ride, or a taxi to get to. And they are shared by many. By millions.

It’s really not as easy as one would think.

So here we are… Raising a kid in the concrete jungle, a (mostly) treeless and grassless metropolis.

My question is… How important is grass?

I always had a yard growing up. Ample and spacious with trees and bugs a plenty. Some of my fondest memories were playing on that stuff. Swing sets, bubbles, jump rope…the usual suspects for a child in Middle America.

And, as for most families, the yard wasn’t just for playing. We had family barbeques, parties, pool fun, nights under the stars, and a place for the pets to roam.
Bottom line: it wasn’t just a yard; it was an extension of the home.

In hindsight I don’t think I appreciated it much then – I just remember getting pissed off at it each time it was my turn to mow.

But this got me thinking… What are the ramifications of not having a yard?

Will Lil Johnny be afraid of bugs? Will he have an allergy to grass? Not appreciate nature? Will he never know the smell of a summer BBQ and citronella? Never know the joy of ruining a pair of jeans with a grass stain? Never learn how to properly mow the lawn?

But…..Does the above really matter?
Will it be outweighed by the culture, diversity, and education that New York City will offer?

It all depends on your scale.

One thing is for certain – he will never be afraid of rats. How many kids can say that?
That outweighs the grass, right?

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